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This is a tribute to singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, who both died in 1984. Gaye was a Motown star known for love songs like "Let's Get It On
" and "Sexual Healing
." Wilson was an R&B singer known for his stirring performances and hits like "Lonely Teardrops
." Wilson was 49 when he died, Gaye was 44. Both are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
When this song was performed on Motown Returns to the Apollo in the early '80s, more verses were added to honor other Motown legends who had passed on. (thanks, Jenny - Sussex, NJ, for above 2)
The line "your love it lifted us higher and higher" is a reference to Wilson's 1967 hit, "Higher And Higher."
This is the Commodores' only hit since Lionel Richie left the band in 1982. The vocals were shared by Clyde Orange (an original member who also wrote the song) and J.D. Nicholas, a former backup singer for Diana Ross who was brought in to replace Richie.
Won the 1985 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
The band got a new recording contract as a result of this song, but they were never able to follow it up with another hit.